JMU Presidential Election
I decided to run for Student Government President of JMU. I was into making posters at the time, and I think that–at first–running for president was just an excuse to hang up silly posters that made fun of the other candidates. My poster’s highlight was an infant with a thought bubble that said, “21st Century Beef-Whiz Regurgitator”–a slogan that generated quite a bit of head-scratching on campus. My campaign promises included:
*If elected, he will receive a sex change operation live on the school Commons.
*Voting for Kembrew will insure free passage into the afterlife of your choice.
*To alleviate pedestrian traffic problems, he will set up a complex system of ropes and pulleys linking academic buildings and dorms.
*Lastly, he will require University President Ron Carrier to wear a foam rubber lobster costume to all public events.
One of my opponents, Jim Acosta, is now CNN’s White House correspondent.
Phil, my partner in crime (and by far the funniest of the two of us), ran for Vice-President. Because he played it straight in an over-the-top Andy Kaufman-esque way, Phil was really the star of the show. From the start, he claimed that he was the best looking guy on campus and therefore would get at least half the votes–the “chicks.” Phil Sweeney’s campaign motto perfectly played off his last name:
“Everybody Wants Phil’s Weeney.” He claimed he would:
*Encourage students to wear rubber socks while playing footsie to help check the spread of athlete’s foot on campus.
*Have a campus center built in his honor with: 1) a fountain and a naked statue of Phil spitting water from his mouth, 2) a massage and beauty parlor, and 3) a checkered dance floor with a fog machine strobe lights and a live DJ.
We certainly didn’t make many friends in the Student Government Association, whose members felt we were mocking their glorified job-resume-filler association. When the two of us had to justify our campaign to the SGA assembly, one senator said that Phil (and what he stood for) was “disgusting.” Phil–wearing sun glasses and a white Las Vegas-style sports jacket (with a glittery silver lapel)–lit up a cigar and said seductively, “you’re just saying that because you want me.”
During an election debate sponsored by the SGA, I answered all the questions by doing interpretive dances and I ended my speech in a screamed free-association: “kung fu reverend … butthole … twenty-first century beef whiz regurgitation … arm hair exterminator, nuclear toe jam!” I don’t remember this, but the school paper reported that I ended my speech with a dance and a backward somersault.
During the same debate, Phil was nearly thrown off the stage when he brought with him a half dozen men and women who were fanning him and massaging his feet. He then reached into his pocket to remove a list of his campaign promises and pulled out a series of bras, wrinkled pieces of paper and finally a jar of peanut butter, which he said was the secret to his good looks. Phil proceeded to rub it all over his face as the SGA assembly looked on in horror. Even though we told everyone we knew to spread the word not to vote for us, we still got 13% of the vote in a race divided among four people.